Archive for December, 2013

Although My Name Is My Name was an album that was continuously delayed throughout most of 2013, Pusha T was adamant in calling his record the best album of the year. After releasing a couple solid mixtapes, fans of Pusha T’s work as a member of the Clipse had been dying for a proper studio album from the coke-rap lyricist. Well nowadays Pusha T as joined forces with Kanye West as fellow G.O.O.D. Music members and standout track off Cruel Summer “New God Flow” showed what kind of hard hitting hip-hop the two could make together. Kanye West has his hands all over My Name Is My Name as the project’s executive producer, and luckily for Pusha the results are successful to say the least.  (more…)

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Over the weekend the hip-hop world suffered another tragic loss as 22 year-old Alabama rapper Doe B was murdered at a nightclub. He had just released his first mixtape Baby Jesus in November and was signed to T.I’s Grand Hustle Records. While we will surely receive posthumous music from the late up and coming Doe B, the more important issue at hand is to pay respect to another rapper who lost his life way too early. In honor of his death, Wu Tang Clan member Raekwon released “I Wanna Know”, a collaboration with T.I and the late Doe B.

The track itself is a strong one as all three rappers come through with strong verses over booming, organ heavy production. It is a shame we will not get the chance to see Doe B progress as an artist and person, but some may find solace in that police have arrested and charged the suspect who they believe to be responsible for his murder.

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While Drake had an extremely successful year with the release of his critically acclaimed third studio album Nothing Was The Same, 2013 was not going to pass by without the Toronto rapper reminding us of his accomplishments. In interviews leading up to the release of Nothing Was The Same, there were talks of a song titled “Trophies” that had been produced by none other than Hit Boy. And while we heard a snippet of the track in a video trailer previewing the LP, the fans were left craving more. Drake continued to tease the track at his live shows, but now just before New Year’s Eve he has decided to put it out in hopes of it being on the playlists of clubs around the country tonight.  (more…)

The Alchemist is widely heralded as one of the most talented producers in hip-hop today, many proclaiming him to be one of the best of all time. As big of a statement as that is, it is impossible to deny Alc’s work ethic and his unmatched level of output in 2013. The producer released full collaboration albums with the likes of Prodigy, Durag Dynasty, Willie the Kid, and Boldy James all in this calender year! And to cap it off, we are being blessed with the third installment of his Cutting Room Floor compilation projects.

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In 2012, I had no idea who Vic Mensa was. At the end of 2013, I consider the 19 year-old one of the most talented rising stars in hip-hop after the release of his mixtape titled INNANETAPE. The Chicago native was a member of the hyped-up group Kids These Days that also included Chance The Rapper (the comparisons will be endless), but before they officially blew up to the masses the group dissolved. With the release of INNANETAPE, Vic has officially brought the audience into his world through his sharp lyrics, genre-bending vocal abilities, and a strong ear for lively production.

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The connection between Atlanta based rapper Killer Mike and once upon a time member of Company Flow producer El-P is one that quickly developed and proved to be rewarding in 2012 when Killer Mike released his critically acclaimed album R.A.P Music. The project was entirely produced by El-P and the natural chemistry between the two artists was undeniable to the point that the fans were left craving for more.

Well, earlier this year we were blessed with exactly that under the Run The Jewels moniker. The album of the same name was praised to the extent that it constantly faced comparisons to the well-known Watch The Throne project released by mainstream rap heavyweights Kanye West and Jay Z. Run the Jewels has been labeled as the evil underground twin of WTT and deservingly so. While many are used to Killer Mike and El-P rapping about forms of government fueled injustice, this project is more so a swift lyrical ass kicking with the duo challenging each other on the best methods of being genuine hell-raisers.

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A relative newcomer to the game, Vince Staples has been best known for his work with Odd Future as the fellow Californian artists have collaborate numerous times. But with the release of this Stolen Youth mixtape that is entirely produced by Larry Fisherman (Mac Miller’s beat making alter ego), Vince has created his own individual identity as an artist. The chemistry between Vince’s pessimistically driven rhymes and Mac’s experimentally dark driven production is a match made in heaven and makes Stolen Youth a standout free release of 2013.

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A lot has changed since Odd Future first burst onto the national scene after exploiting the power of the Internet to showcase their raw musical/creative talents. Tyler The Creator started as the teenage ringleader of the group who expertly promoted their shock value heavy music and in doing so gained a cult following fan base. But nowadays Odd Future is less about causing a ruckus and have matured as overall artists. Earl Sweatshirt is back from Samoa and better than ever. Frank Ocean is a Grammy award winning artist working with the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West. And now with Tyler the Creator’s 3rd studio album Wolf, we are officially reintroduced to the true musical talents of the man behind the massive movement.

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If you are a believer in the NY underground hip-hop scene, you most likely have heard the term Beast Coast, a term given to the collective of rising rap groups from NYC. The Underachievers (along with Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, A$AP Mob) are an important part of the movement as each crew continues to rise in prominence while gaining more and more respect among the hip-hop community. Issa Gold and AK are the emcees that make up the group and have quickly found a believer in veteran producer Flying Lotus, who has signed them under his Brainfeeder label. Indigoism is the debut mixtape from The Underachievers and after hearing the impressive project; it is no wonder why many are taking notice of the duo.

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Witnessing the artistic growth of Mac Miller has been one of the more intriguing spectacles in hip-hop this year. Mac reached stardom in the eyes of the young generation early in his career/life with hits like “Donald Trump” and “Nikes On My Feet”, but hip-hop purists bashed his quirky style and the corniness of his lyrics. Nevertheless, Miller released his debut album Blue Side Park and it became the first independent hip-hop album to top the Billboard charts in nearly 20 years. Despite the support, artistically and critically the project was a flop and Mac took the negativity to heart as he developed a drug addiction to promethazine (codeine). As Miller worked to fight his addiction, his music started to undergo a transformation as his mixtape Macadelic was filled with psychedelic influences, and lyrically there were strong signs of improvement (“Thoughts From A Balcony”) from the Pittsburgh emcee.  Once Miller moved to LA and started becoming friendly with the talented rappers from Odd Future and TDE, he found his own voice and new musical sound with the end result being this album titled Watching Movies With The Sound Off.

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